This page draws together softball-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.


Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics softball.  View Softball Fact Sheet

Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. Every team aims in scoring as many runs possible, against the opponents by striking the ball with a specific bat. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand. The game is played on a smaller diamond than in baseball and despite the game's name, the standard softball is not soft; in fact, it is harder than a baseball.

Softball Stories and News

April 18, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Two Athletes Share a Rare Disease, Gold Medals and Guts

By Lynn Aylward

The Striegels

Ryan Groves and Steven Striegel share several things. They both are both in Special Olympics, love basketball, and hold Gold Medals. They also share tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic disease that affects 50,000 Americans and one million people worldwide.View Story Ryan Groves and Steven Striegel share several things. They both are both in Special Olympics, love basketball, and hold gold medals. They also share tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic disease that affects 50,000 Americans and one million people worldwide. TSC results in typically benign tumors that primarily form in the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, and skin. Depending on the location and severity of the tumors, people with TSC can be severely mentally and physically disabled, or may seem unaffected by the disease. For those adversely affected, the challenges can be intense. But Ryan and Steven -- who are profiled this month in Neurology Now -- work, play sports, and socialize, often with friends they've met through Special Olympics. One additional challenge for people with TSC and their families is that the disease is little-known, even though it may actually hold a key to understanding more common conditions such as cancer.

About Lynn Aylward:I work in communications for Special Olympics
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February 20, 2014 | North America: Florida

National Team Player Teams Up with Special Olympics Softball

By Elicia D'Orazio

Elicia D'Orazio (Puerto Rican national team player) after the scrimmage game with the Special Olympics softball team.

About a month ago my school, Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) hosted the special olympics training and i was lucky enough to be able to go out and play with the softball team.View Story About a month ago my school, Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) hosted the special olympics training and i was lucky enough to be able to go out and play with the softball team. Going out and playing with such great athletes who overcome many challenges was honestly the greatest moment of my life. They treated me as if I was a member of theire team and welcomed me with open arms, literally. The passion thy had for the sport was absolutely heart touching and amazing. Just being in the field with them was a blessing and I thank you all for giving me that opportunity!

About Elicia D'Orazio:My name is Elicia D'Orazio and I am a 17 year old senior at Montverde Academy. I will be attending Marshall University next year on an athletic scholarship to play fast pitch softball, and I am the youngest player on the womens Puerto Rican Fastpitch National Team.
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December 02, 2013 | North America: Minnesota

Empowered by Special Olympics Programs

By Kayte Barton

My name is Kayte Barton, and I have been a Special Olympics Minnesota athlete for 18 years. My involvement with Special Olympics has completely changed my life.View Story My name is Kayte Barton, and I have been a Special Olympics Minnesota athlete for the last 18 years. I'm part of the Woodbury Blazing Stars, a team which I organized. I compete in three sports, Poly Hockey, Softball, and Unified Football. In addition, I am active with our Athlete Leadership Program (ALPs), Healthy Athletes, and Young Athletes Program. My involvement with Special Olympics programs has completely changed my life. One example is that I used to be extremely shy; people laugh with me when I tell them that because they cannot picture me as being shy! The main reason I am no longer shy is my involvement with Special Olympics Minnesota Athlete Leadership Programs. I have completed all seven courses offered by Special Olympics Minnesota ALPs; Global Messenger, Advanced Global Messenger, Leadership/Governance, Athletes as Coaches, Athletes as Volunteers, Challenges Through Choice, and our newest course Athletes as Ambassadors. I was one of fifteen athletes attending the Athletes as Ambassadors course; through this new course, we as athletes are charged with changing Special Olympics Minnesota and helping to grow our Athlete Leadership Program. In addition, I am a former Special Olympics Minnesota Board of Directors member and a founding member of our A-Team which is the team responsible for the training that takes place within our Athlete Leadership Program. I attended the Special Olympics Incorporated ALPs Training Conference with our team in May of 2002 and I am the only founding athlete who remains active with the A-Team when we train new athletes in ALPs. The skills that I have learned through the ALPs courses have also made me a passionate advocate for Healthy Athletes and its mission. I have had the opportunity to take part in Healthy Athletes screenings. I couldn't find a dentist that took Medicare and Medical assistance and when I contacted our Special Smiles director, she helped me to find a dentist that would take me. My mentor Judy Wahl encouraged me to become a Healthy Athletes volunteer.

About Kayte Barton:I am an Athlete, I have been competing for 18 years. I compete in Poly Hockey. Softball and Unified Flag Football. I am an Athlete Leader too. I have completed Global Messenger, Athletes as Coaches, Volunteers, and Governance and Leadership 101.
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Softball Events




May 1 - 3 2014

Summer Games - Arizona

Join Special Olympics Arizona on 1-3 May at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona as athletes from around the state compete in 3 days of athletic competition. Athletes will be competing in the following sports: athletics, powerlifting, kayaking, Unified kayaking doubles, softball, tennis and Unified tennis. Hope to see you there!
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Jamie Heckerman
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Grand Canyon University
3300 W. Camelback Rd.

Phoenix, Arizona

May 9 - 10 2014

South Carolina State Summer Games

Join Special Olympics South Carolina on March 9th - 10th as over a 1,000 athletes, coaches and unified partners will come together for 2 days of competition in 6 sports in the city of Columbia. Athletes will compete in athletics, badminton, gymnastics, masters bocce, powerlifting, softball, swimming and under 21 bowling.
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Kelly Garrick
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Ft. Jackson
Columbia, South Carolina

May 14 - 16 2014

45th Annual Summer Games - Oklahoma

Join Special Olympics Oklahoma on 14-16 May at Oklahoma State University (Gallagher Iba Area) in Stillwater, Arizona as athletes from around the state compete in 2 days of athletic competition. Athletes will compete in nine sports: Athletics (Track and Field), Bocce, Bowling, Golf, Horseshoes, Powerlifting, Unified 3-on-3 Basketball, and Unified Softball. Other events include Motor Activities and Stars of the Future. Hope to see you there!
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Teri Hockett
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Oklahoma State University
Gallagher Iba Arena

Stillwater, Oklahoma

May 30 - Jun 1 2014

Hawaii State Summer Games

Over 1,000 Athletes and Coaches from throughout the state of Hawaii will participate in our Summer Games at the University of Hawaii and Central Oahu Regional Park. Athletes began training in February and are competing in Area and Regional competitions from the end of March through the beginning of May in preparation for the Summer Games. Competition will be held in Powerlifting, Softball, Swimming and Track and Field. The Special Olympics Hawaii Summer Games have been held continuously since 1968.
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University of Hawaii and Central Oahu Regional Park
Hilo, Hawaii

Jun 6 - 7 2014

Virginia Summer Games

Summer Games, our largest competition, is nothing short of legendary thanks to overwhelming support from thousands of local volunteers who brave the summer heat to assist Special Olympics Virginia athletes each June. Athletes come from all corners of the state to compete in swimming, softball, track & field, bowling and tennis.This event also features our annual Healthy Athletes expo, as well as fan filled stands, thanks to our Volunteer to Cheer program! Stay tuned to for cheering opportunities closer to the event date.
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Gray Miller
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University of Richmond and Surrounding venues
Richmond, Virginia

Jun 6 - 8 2014

Summer Games

Join Special Olympics Maryland June 6-8 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as athletes from all over the state compete in athletics, aquatics, bocce, cheerleading, softball and tennis. We hope to see you there!
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Mike Czarnowsky
Phone:410-242-1515 ext 124
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Towson University
8000 York Rd

Towson, Maryland

Jun 13 - 21 2014

2014 USA National Games

The USA National Games be centered in and around Princeton and the Greater Mercer County area. Venues will include Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, and Mercer County Park. The New Jersey Devils have offered The Prudential Center as the venue for the Opening Ceremonies. The National Games will feature nearly 3,500 athletes competing in 14 Olympic-style sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 8,000 volunteers and an estimated 50,000 family, friends and spectators. Non-competitive special events will include the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run™ that will symbolize the start of the competition and Healthy Athletes, a place where the athletes can get vital health screenings. Youth and education events will also be held in conjunction with the Games as young leaders rally around making change for the better of the Special Olympics movement and promoting acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities.
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Greg Epperson
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Several Locations - New Jersey
Princeton, New Jersey

Jul 8 - 12 2014

2014 Canada National Summer Games

The Special Olympics Canada Summer Games will feature 11 sports, making the 2014 Games the largest Canadian Games ever. It is anticipated that over 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials will be part of the 2014 Games, in addition to over 1,000 Event volunteers, who will help to make this an outstanding and truly memorable experience for everyone involved.
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University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dec 14 - 15 2014

Southern California Fall Games

Be inspired by athletic determination and courage. Come cheer on more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California as they compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons at Fall Games. The Games will feature our six fall/winter sports — bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Fall Games, one of our largest competitions, is the second of two Southern California competitions held every year.
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Fountain Valley and Irvine
Fountain Valley and Irvine, California

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
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World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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Softball Competitions

2012 Softball Invitational Tournament

Special Olympics athletes from 33 teams from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico competed in Oklahoma City for the 2012 Special Olympics North America Softball Invitational Tournament.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »

Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »

Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


Special Olympics - Become a Fan